Magazine article National Defense

WID Pushes Growth of Women and Minority-Owned Small Business

Magazine article National Defense

WID Pushes Growth of Women and Minority-Owned Small Business

Article excerpt

More than 60 people attended an informational breakfast hosted by Women In Defense as part of a recent NDIA Small Business Conference in San Diego.

The purpose was to assist women engaged in small businesses and to plan a Women In Defense chapter in San Diego. Carolyn Becraft, WID national president, led a discussion on how to proceed with the new affiliate. WID has planted six chapters since 2001 and intends to start several more in the years ahead.

WID National Board Secretary Susan W. Ebner, special counsel for Buchanan Ingersoll, organized the breakfast meeting. Tyrone C. Taylor, president of Capital Advisors on Technology, is the co-chair of NDIA's Small Business Division, which organized the San Diego conference. He is also an advocate for promoting diversity within small businesses.

"Generally speaking, you need to have a robust and diverse industrial base," said Taylor. "Diversity from the standpoint of race or gender provides a richness for the industry."

Acknowledging that it is difficult for minorities to penetrate the defense market, "Taylor emphasizes the importance of generating substantially greater opportunity for them to do so. It is particularly important, he said, to increase opportunities in the fields of construction, manufacturing, technology, and systems and research.

Taylor cited a survey of minority-owned businesses, conducted by the Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency, which said that most of the entrepreneurial growth in the nation during the next 25 to 50 years would be fostered by businesses created by minorities, including women.

"I think that is what the NDIA Small Business Division meeting and WID are doing in general--trying to create those opportunities," explained Taylor. "That's good for the nation overall, and it's certainly good for the Department of Defense."

Networking and professional development are a large portion of WID's mission, according to Jane Patrick Casey, NDIA's membership director and WID liaison. …

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